An Uneven Exchange

As I swiftly swiped my credit card to pay for parking, an old man turned to me to ask, “Do you know if these machines take quarters?” 


I shrugged my shoulders and replied with an instinctual (unconscious) response, “Um, I suppose.”

While I was standing there amidst the gusty wind, waiting for the parking sticker to print, I saw how his gnarled fingers struggled to deposit three quarters into the machine next to mine.

“How about I just print you a parking ticket using my credit card and you can hand me the quarters?” I proposed what I thought was an even exchange.

Surprised by my offer, the old man shaded his eyes from the bright sunlight to directly turn to me and say, “That would be wonderful. Thank you so much. My parking spot is 249. I hope you have a beautiful day. Thank you again.”

Seeing the sincerity in his eyes was like looking into a mirror and seeing the truest part of myself – a priceless experience.

-S

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